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International Students

Immigration Documentation

International students who require immigration sponsorship as an F-1 or J-1 student should return the New Student Request for an I-20/DS-2019 Form to their department/program as soon as possible after the offer of admission has been accepted. Supporting documents may also be required, including a passport copy and proof of financial support, if needed.

This form and detailed instructions can be found on the International Services Office (ISO) website. The ISO is unable to issue necessary immigration documents without complete and accurate information.

English Language Testing

All incoming graduate students whose first language is not English and who will be teaching assistants in the coming year are required to demonstrate sufficient English proficiency for teaching assistantships. Individual oral testing with a language specialist and current international TA will be held in late August (exact dates to be determined). 

Students will sign up for a 15-minute timeframe for the testing. Students must ensure that they are on campus and available for the testing. No preparation for testing is needed.

Students whose language skills are judged to require further training will need to take an English as a Second Language (ESL) course designed specifically for international graduate students. The overall goal of the course is to develop students’ abilities to participate successfully at graduate school and to be TAs in US classrooms. Students will engage in analyzing materials and teaching scenarios to become effective communicators as teaching assistants. 

More information can be found on the English for Speakers of Other Languages page.

Improving your English

Strong English language skills are vital to your success in the program and to your future career. If you have any doubt about your English abilities, you are strongly encouraged to come to Rochester during the summer and take part in the University of Rochester’s Intensive English Program.

If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity before beginning your program, please let us know as early as possible, so we can work with you to change the start date of your program.